Category Archives: Recipe

Sneaky Muffins and a Mexican Meatloaf

Do you guys have a food that you know isn’t very good for you so you cannot let yourself even try it, because you know if you do it will be so delicious you won’t ever be able to resist it?

Well I do, and here it is in all its glory.

Danger Danger

Muffins. Banana walnut muffins from Druxy’s in particular.

Whenever we have a meeting in the morning, we usually have refreshments, including coffee and a big ol’ platter from Druxy’s with cookies (I never should have tried cookies either), pastries and muffins. I’ll go for the cookies and the pastries, but I always stay far, far away from the muffins.

Here is my reasoning. Pastries are not dangerous to me, because I associate them as a treat food and I know I won’t eat them on a daily basis. Same with cookies. (Usually.) They are both desserts (in my mind).

But muffins are sneaky. Muffins seem like they would be healthy, but we all know they are not (unless you make them yourself, and then I guess you can healthify them up). When you buy muffins from Starbucks, Tim Hortons, etc. they are not good for you. I don’t know for sure about Druxy’s muffins, because I can’t find their muffin nutrition facts on their website, but I just know they are bad news and probably full of calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.

So I never tried them, because I knew as soon as I had one taste of those muffins, I would be all up in Druxy’s grill every day at mid-morning snack time purchasing a muffin (because there’s a Druxy’s in my building, remember).

I don’t know why this rule doesn’t apply to pastries and cookies (unless a platter of cookies is brought straight to my desk of course), but it doesn’t. It only applies to muffins. My tummy thinks they are a quick and delicious, healthy snack, and my brain cannot convince it otherwise.

So guess what. At our last meeting, I caved and I tried a dang muffin. And now?

Uh Oh

I am forgoing my beautiful Greek yogurt snack in the morning, and I am all up in Druxy’s grill grabbing a banana walnut muffin (they are SO GOOD).

I swear they call to me from Druxy’s downstairs. This is what they are saying to me:

(Well, those are mini muffins, but you get the idea.)

It’s not every morning, but the muffins must stop. My current strategy is to trick my tummy into forgetting how delicious they are. I was able to stay away today, but I don’t know if I will have the willpower tomorrow…

Anyway, moving on…

Mexican Meatloaf

Immediately after work today I changed into my running garb and hit the pavement. I completed a 5k loop in about 31 minutes, and I wasn’t really feeling it in the beginning (I felt great after though!), so to get my mind to forget about what my body was doing, I started to fantasize about dinner.

I had ground chicken chilling in my fridge, so my original idea was to make tacos, but then I remembered that we are out of cheese. I am sorry, but I believe that you can NOT have tacos without cheese. It should be illegal.

I did feel like something a little Mexican-y though, and I wanted to use that chicken, so I started going through every possible Mexican dish I could make with that chicken that I hadn’t made before. I just wanted something meaty (this coming after my meatless Monday).

The answer?

Mexican meatloaf!

Meaty Loaf

This actually turned out really well, and I was seriously impressed with the flavour (note: meatloaf is unattractive, sorry, but that’s just the way it is.)

I got the base recipe from here, but I ended up doing my own thang.

Mexican Meatloaf

Serves 4-6 (or two with leftovers)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken (you could also use beef or turkey)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 package low-sodium taco seasoning mix (or regular)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional – I had to omit this, but I know it would have been great with it!)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together everrrrrything except for the cheese. Pack into the loaf pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Top with cheese, and serve with sour cream and extra salsa (both optional, I did not).

I thought this was delicious, and one thing I am always impressed by when I make meatloaf is how easy it is! Very minimal prep. Perfect for a weeknight.

I served mine with cauliflower that I steamed in the microwave with one of those Ziplock steamer bags. Also super easy!

Meaty Dinna

We have about half the loaf leftover, so I know what’s for lunch tomorrow!

And while you’re here, this is what was for lunch today!

Chicken Sammers

Chicken sandwich with light veggie cream cheese on one side of the bread, spinach, tomato and mustard. And some baby carrots on the side that went unpictured.

And I’m outta here. Catcha lata!

Any foods you purposely do not even try because you know you will just like it too much and eat it all the time?

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Meatless Monday (feat. Black Bean Burritos)

Hey hey!

So first things first, a lot of you had questions about the big Running Date, and I responded to most in the comments, but I don’t know if you’re alerted if I respond to your comment, so I thought I’d answer them here as well.

I had never heard of The Running Date, or anything like it (except for The Amazing Race), and only found out about it through Sam’s giveaway at Health, Happiness and Skinny Jeans. As soon as I read about it, I wanted to do it! To be honest though, if I didn’t win the tickets I probably wouldn’t have. But I am so glad I did! I’d definitely do it again.

We also found out that The Running Date was put on by a group of university students, and this was the first year it had been done. It was their idea, and they found sponsors, roped volunteers into helping out, and ran the entire thing. I was surprised when I heard this because it was very well organized (not that I expected it to not be well organized, but it was very “official” feeling – hello race bibs!).

They had volunteers at each location to record the time you arrived there and to guide you through the challenge (and make sure you actually completed it and didn’t cheat!). They also gave you a little souvenir to take back with you, which you had to hand in when you got to the finish line. This is how they knew you hit every check point.

Registration was $40 per person, so $80 a couple. You could register online in advance, or in person the day of the event.

Also, I just checked their Facebook page, and they have all the teams ranked…and yeah, we came dead last. Haha.

Lindsey Evanoff

But I certainly felt like a winner :).

Meatless Monday

Welp, it’s Monday, so this means I am back to my regular eating after a weekend of snack attacks. We had some friends over on Saturday night, and after a few bevvies I got into the chips, hardcore (why does this always happen?).

We had Cool Ranch Doritos and Miss Vickies Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar, and someone (probably Andrew) pointed out how amazing the two chips were when you ate them together. Don’t even try this, it is so addicting. This is why I do not usually keep chips in our house. I can eat an entire bag, no problem.

Luckily I squeezed in a couple other workouts this weekend besides The Running Date on Saturday: BodyPump on Friday night, and a 4k run yesterday afternoon. But I am happily back to the healthy grind today in the eating department.

My eats included a peanut butter and sliced banana on a toasted whole wheat bagel for breakfast, and a big ol’ salad from Druxy’s for lunch.

Druxy's is de Best

I was in a meeting all day long today, so at lunchtime we all went down to Druxy’s to grab a little somethin’. Everyone was amazed at the Druxy’s salad selection. I love that you can grab a HUGE Druxy’s salad for $6, and you can include protein like hard-boiled eggs, seeds, and nuts for no extra charge (chicken and tuna are an extra $2).

I packed my salad full of almost all the available veggies, feta cheese, eggs, pepitas and sunflower seeds, and it was darn good.

Giant Salad

For dinner tonight I wanted something that I could just throw together quickly. Enter black bean burritos!

Burrrrritos!

These were really easy, and really good. But I changed them up a bit from the last time, and added some more veggies to the mix.

As I have been noticing lately with meatless dishes that include beans, the burritos tasted meaty without including meat!

Even Andy-pants said “These are delicious for not having any meat in them. Actually, I take that back. They are just delicious.”

He is a big meat lover, so that is definitely a compliment.

I sprinkled those babies with cheese and dug in!

Cheesy Burrito

Yumballs.

I am just noticing that my Monday today was meatless! I am not planning on becoming a vegetarian, but I am trying to cut back on meat and try out other sources of protein. Meat is expensive! Especially if you buy organic, grass-fed or free-range, and I usually do not unless it is on sale. I know I should, but I just can’t justify the extra cost. It is already nearly $10 for two regular chicken breasts. It’s ridiculous.

Here is the recipe if you want to try ’em out!

Black Bean Burritos

Ingredients

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I cooked mine in the microwave first)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven heated to 350 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.
  2. Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium. Place onion, red pepper, and garlic in skillet, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour beans and corn into skillet, cook additional 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add salsa to veggie mixture, cook until heated through (1-2 minutes).
  4. Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla, add cheese, and roll tortillas up.
  5. EAT!!!

Pretty sure these are going to be a new staple dinner around herrrre.

Question of the day:

  • Do you buy organic meat? Why or why not?

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Apples and Sheep and Llamas, Oh My

Yesterday in the late morning, Ando and I headed out to the grocery store, but since the weather was nearly 30C with beautifully sunny skies, we decided grocery shopping could wait – we wanted to be outside in the sun!

Instead we drove to a nearby apple orchard for some apple-picking action.

It felt weird to be doing such a fall activity in such summery weather (I was sweating hardocre, it was HOT!), but it was an amazing time.

I have not been apple picking in years, and I don’t think I have ever been to this particular orchard.  Even though it was late in the season, there were still a ton of apples.

And beautiful views.

There was also a corn maze, which I was pretty excited about since I also have not been in a corn maze in years.

Can you spot Alejandrew?

He was trying to sneak up on me, but I was watching him like the big creeper I am.

And we made some new friends.

Sheep! They were actually extremely cute. It made me want a sheep for a pet. They reminded me a bit of Winnie (our cat, if you are new around here).

But any cute animal that is a bit chubby and on the slow side reminds me of Winnie.

And then…

Llama time!

The llama’s were not quite as nice as the sheep. And actually, I thought they were quite snobby.

But somehow we lured that little llama out of his snobby shell and got him to smile.

It was an awesome little impromptu trip to the apple orchard, and I am pretty sure we are going to have to make this a fall tradition.

We went a little crazy on the apples though…

I have no idea why we got so many, or what in the name of pizza I am going to do with all of them… But apple crisp sounded like a good start.

I love apple crisp, it is one of my favourite desserts, but for some reason I have never made it before.

My friend Joanna‘s mom makes the best apple crisp, and she knows how much I like it, so when we were in high school, whenever she would make apple crisp she would send a little plate of it to school with Joanna just for me. I will always remember that.

Anyway, I have always assumed that apple crisp was really difficult to make, but after doing some googling and checking out recipes, I saw that it actually looked super easy! I ended up settling on this recipe from AllRecipes, but I did change a few things to slightly healthify it up (a bit, there is still quite a bit of sugar and butter, so don’t get too excited).

Here is the recipe with my modifications.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

Apples

  • 6 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water

Topping

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the rest of the apples ingredients (white sugar, flour, ground cinnamon) together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
  3. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

Mine turned out beautifully.

Seriously addicting though.

Andrew told me that is what he ate for lunch today, haha.

I will be back with regular eating stuff tomorrow, but tonight I am feeling lazy after my busy day at work.

Have a great night!

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Spaghetti Carbonara Party

Hallo 🙂

I got an email today from Marlene (the star of Marlene’s Pink Warriors) letting me know that the total amount of money our team raised for Run for the Cure yesterday was over $30,000.

I had previously written over $25,000, but I thought I would let you guys know this update because THAT IS CRAZY. I can barely wrap my head around that number. Marlene is an awesome motivator, I will tell you that.

Spaghetti Carbonara

So my eats were pretty ho-hum today. Good, but nothing too exciting. A banana + peanut butter wrap for breakfast, leftover chicken noodle soup for lunch with a toasted whole wheat English muffin, and a ginormous salad for dinner, plus a few snacks thrown in.

All good eats for sure, but nothing too blog-worthy.

I’ll tell you what was blog-worthy though. My dinner on Saturday night.

My friend Lisa had a few friends over for a petite dinner party, including Ando and I, and she made us that delicious plate of spaghetti carbonara (<- go there if you would like to see the recipe. Lisa made hers with spaghetti instead of fettuccine, but I think that was her only change.)

It was really, really good. Really, really.

Just a note that it is not the healthiest of pastas. It does include heavy cream, bacon, cheese, and two egg yolks, but if you want to go all out, EAT THIS. It’s dynamite.

Sometimes it is so good it is okay not to care about the health factor, in my opinion. You better believe I cleaned my plate, and I didn’t go back for seconds only because I ate a ton of these before dinner:

Amazing Little Pastry Puffs

Little pastries full of cream cheese, bacon, and parsley that my friend Fran made. Those were also very good and extremely addicting.

And then there was the dessert table that I had to think about.

Dessert Spread

Cheesecake, the pumpkin spiced cookies and chocolate chip blondies that I brought, and these little Portuguese custard tarts (I can’t remember the name, but they were delicious!)

Lisa’s boyfriend and his brother are Portuguese and were raving on about those tarts, so I thought I should give them a try.

Tarty Goodness

And they were not wrong. They were amazing. Like custard-filled butter tarts!

And PS – the chickpea blondies? No one could tell they had chickpeas in them. I’m pretty sure they were a hit.

I had a great night with my two college pals 🙂

College Pals

I am off to read in bed. I am seriously so tired today and I have no idea why! I definitely want to get tangled up in the sheets early.

Have a great night!

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Saturday Bakefest (Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Cookies + Healthy Blondies)

Hey, remember that time I said I didn’t like pumpkin?

I lied. I like it, and I like it quite a lot.

This morning after a 9:30 BodyPump class (which I loved, I always leave BodyPump feeling so strong!), I wandered into the Superstore on a super schweaty mission for pumpkin pie spice for a pumpkin cookie recipe I wanted to try out today.

I couldn’t find it anywhere! After consulting with my favourite baking guru

Having blog friends is so helpful!

I realized that this was not a case of just being blind to the pumpkin pie spice (like how I missed the canned pumpkin), it probably wasn’t available in the Superstore at all.

I headed home to make my own, following Dawn’s advice. I googled a recipe to get the exact quantities of each spice, and found a good one on AllRecipes that I ended up using.

When I was raving on about pumpkin in my v-log, I asked you guys to post your fave pumpkin recipes. Meg from PinkGiggles posted one for Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Cookies that looked yummily intriguing to me.

She was not wrong. After making these cookies, they are truly the perfect amount of pumpkin spice-y goodness.

I followed SkinnyTaste’s recipe exactly, so check it out if you want to see it. Let me tell you, these cookies turned out amazing.

I loved them! Ridiculously yummy.

If (WHEN) I make these again the only change I’d make would be swapping whole wheat flour for white flour, but the other ingredients were bang-on. I loved these little cookies.

Bake-fest was not quite over just yet. I have a little dinner party tonight with my friends from college Fran and Lisa, as well as our respective lovers, and I am bringing the dessert.

So next up were Chocolate Chip Blondies that I made from Chocolate Covered Katie‘s recipe.

Chocolate Chip Blondies

They look pretty decadent, don’t they? They are DELICIOUS. Would you believe me if I told you they are also healthy?

Healthy Blondies?

It’s true. The main ingredient is chickpeas.

Chick Peas!

No lie. An entire can of chickpeas.

Mix

And peanut butter, brown sugar and flour. I had to sub the flour instead of ground flax into my mix, as I didn’t have any ground flax on-hand, but otherwise I followed Katie’s recipe exactly.

The most difficult part was mixing the chick peas, I would say, as the little peas wanted to stay in ball form and it was tricky to get them smoothy-smooth.

But after several minutes of mixing with an electric mixer, I was successful!

Mix, Pre Choco Chips

This recipe is genius. I can’t even explain to you how impressed I am with it. These blondies are moist, chewy and chocolatey. They taste like the real deal, and I could eat the entire pan and I wouldn’t even have to break out my fat pants. That, my friends, is a win.

Ando has already eaten four of them.

I’m excited to see how my pals like everything tonight! I’ll let ya know.

And I am off to get ready! Have a great Saturday!

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A Gnocchi Newbie

Heyo.

I was so relieved to hear that I am not the only conehead out there who has trouble keeping headbands from squeezing off my head!  I’m not alone!

But I actually may not have as big of a conehead as I thought, and I think the problem may lie more with my fine, slippery hair. Last night my experiment worked!

Success!

As I posted on my Twitter and Facebook pages (yeah, a shameless self plug. I know you want to follow me), a little bit of grease in my hair, and texture from my overnight braid, was all it took. The BIC Band successfully stayed put all throughout my bootcamp class.

It barely slipped at all, and there was tons of jumping around going on. I was pumped, and felt much more confident than that time my hair elastic broke and I had to raw dog it with my hair down all casual Friday, throwing my head around like a stripper (which you may remember, gave me a huge kink in my neck the next day).

Carnival Eats

Today at lunchtime there was a hotel tradeshow going on in my building that included free lunch. Since I love free food, and any activity that includes a free lunch, I abandoned my leftover Santa Fe Chicken and wandered down with my coworker Beth to see what kind of eats were kicking around.

At the smaller lunch tradeshows, I can usually slip in, score a quick plate and a cookie, and slip back out, but this one was a big affair. There were 20 hotels there, and it was one of those tradeshows where you go around with a little “passport” and get the vendors to sign it. Only once it is signed can you enter into a draw, and then get your lunch.

I’ll do pretty much anything for a free lunch, so I hit up every booth, and listened to all their spiels. It took about 20 minutes but I left with this:

Free Lunch!

The food was carnival themed, and included hotdogs, slider burgers, corn dogs, potatoes (I don’t know why potatoes), macaroni salad, cole slaw (which I am not really a fan of), popcorn, cookies and cake pops.

Yummy Little Pop

Cake pops were definitely the highlight! I scored a cookie with that as well :).

I couldn’t clean my lunch plate. I don’t like to complain, especially not about food, and especially not about free food, but…it wasn’t great. Nearly everything was cold. The best food item may have been the corn dog, which I didn’t even think I would like.

Pretty unhealthy lunch also…but ah well, free lunches can’t always be the best lunches ever! After my weekend of treats though, this really needs to stop happening.

At least I got a bag of “swag”! (read: business cards and brochures)

Swag-Bag

Oh okay, and Malteaers, which I haven’t dug into just yet…

A Gnocchi Newbie

So I tried gnocchi tonight for the first time, which if you don’t know (and I didn’t really) is a little potato dumpling.

I saw gnocchi on sale in the grocery store over the weekend, and I’ve been meaning to try it out for a while, so I decided to pick some up.

Tonight I chose to make kind of a gnocchi pasta with a marinara veggie sauce topped with parmesan cheese.

Gnocchi Yumminess

I sautéed half a small yellow onion and two cloves of garlic with a teaspoon of olive oil, before adding a chopped red bell pepper and two handfuls of baby spinach. Once everything was cooked through, I added a jar of Prego pasta sauce and continued cooking until everything was nice and warm. I then added it to the gnocchi. And then I ate it.

Plate O' Gnocchi (looks kinda gross...but you guys like it)

I was a fan!  It was yummy and surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) filling…I once again could not completely clean my plate. Ando was a gnocchi newbie as well, and I think I turned him into a lover!

Welp, I’m off to watch The Walking Dead. Alejandrew and I started watching the first season last night and I am already hooked. It’s a bit on the scary side, but I like it! And apparently it makes TrueBlood look like iCarly (according to the promos, which made me laugh).

Questions of the Evening

  • Have you tried gnocchi, and are you a fan?
  • How far have you gone to score free food?

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